Will prosecution play hardball with Jodi Arias?

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jodi Arias, who is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, claims self-defense
  • How will prosecutor Juan Martinez handle the admitted killer?
Will prosecution play hardball with Jodi Arias?

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As Jodi Arias testifies about every experience she had with her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, anticipation is building about how prosecutor Juan Martinez will handle his cross-examination of her.

Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi's direct examination is expected to continue well into next week, because Arias still has a lot of ground to cover. Arias is expected to pick up where she left off in her chronological retelling of her and Alexander's relationship. So on Monday, Arias will likely begin by talking about the contents of a Valentine's Day gift Alexander gave her in 2007, more than a year before she killed him.

Read more: Why do Arias' other boyfriends matter?

Nurmi will also likely play recordings of phone sex between Arias and Alexander. That evidence is expected to be graphic. Defense attorney Jennifer Willmott talked about one of the phone calls during her opening statement, when she told the jury that Alexander said Arias sounded like a 12-year-old girl having an orgasm for the first time. The explicit phone call could support the defense's theory that Alexander was a sexual deviant who abused Arias.

Read more: Arias: I didn't want to reject him

When Nurmi finally finishes questioning Arias, it will be Martinez's turn to ask her some tough questions. Martinez is known for his feisty courtroom behavior.

In Session host Vinnie Politan is a former prosecutor, and he says Martinez needs to walk a fine line when he's questioning Arias.

"I don't think Juan Martinez can control himself, and I don't think he will. We've seen it already. Do you have to be careful? If I was doing the cross-examination, I'd be a little careful about crossing the line, the line where she appears to be the victim, because that's the character she's trying to play on the stand. That is the story of the defense. That is the defense, she's a victim. So, on the one hand, you don't want to cross that line, but you want to get as close as you can to that line," said Politan.

Read more: Arias I had sex the day I was baptized

Politan says Arias' answers to Martinez's questions don't really matter. What really matters is the content of Martinez's questions.

"The defendant is going to say whatever they're going to say. This isn't Perry Mason, they're not going to confess to murder on the witness stand. Your questions are basically you pointing out to the jury all the problems with her story, her theory and everything that she said. You ask leading questions, and you're allowed to, on cross-examination. Leading questions are questions that suggest an answer and the answer is either yes or no. You don't ask an open-ended question."

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